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"Cauldron of Life"
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A Teaching Perspective

Creating empowering, particpatory workshops is an art. Practicing the art requires a shift in perspective on what teaching is and what role the teacher plays in the student's process. Further, like other arts, it's dependent upon practice and process.

The practice of empowered learning derives from the work of Paulo Freire, Movement for a New Society and was brought together into the Empowered Learning Model by the Northern California Preparers Collective in 1980-82, or so. Empowered Learning is the frame that I use to create workshops and to facilitate them. I presume the innate intelligence, the desire to learn and to grow of participants. And, I strive for our active participation in our growth process. You can read more in my notes on Teaching in the Reclaiming Tradition.

It is my belief that if I start a workshop believing that participants should attain certain goals or that they must master certain material, then, empowerment and true learning participation are already lost before the workshop has begun. That is not to say that we cannot share in each other's experience, that we have nothing to teach each other. Quite the reverse: rather than sitting at the feet of the Master, I prefer a model where we are all teaching each other, where the wisdom that lies with each particpant can be brought into the group. Further, if I've had a rich or rewarding experience with an exercise, though I don't know what another person may take from it, still, I have faith that it may have value for others. However, I try not to prejudice what that value might be. And even an exercise that does not work for someone may still contain valuable information in the experience.

Still, I cannot say that I've mastered the art of facilitation. I'm far from completed in my process or in the process. I continue to learn new things about myself, about the weaknesses and limits of my practice, and of course, new material from the co-teachers that I'm blessed to work with.




Slap & Percussive Guitar

Jazz Improvisation

Music For Change


Contact Brook at: info(at)magicbrook(dot)com